Anwar’s Kitchen is open for business

Vegan wrap (Brett Callwood)

Hearing that a new Culver City restaurant is located inside a mall, Westfield Mall in this case, is a little worrying. But fear not, Anwar’s Kitchen is no standard food court joint. In fact, it’s not in Westfield’s food court at all; rather, it’s just opposite it. Those familiar with the mall know about the oddly angled ramps that you have to negotiate to get across the areas, but it’s worth the trouble.

The Culver City location is their second, the first being in Downtown L.A., and they say on their website that, “Anwar’s Kitchen offers 100% Halal certified authentic Mediterranean recipes created by Palistinian-American Social Media star Anwar Jibawi and his mother Amal Jibawi. Anwar and his mother have shared beloved videos through the years and various cooking shows and comedy sketches on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok – hence the genesis of his restaurant. Most of our signature recipes come from Amal that have been passed down in the Jibawi family for generations. Specializing in Middle Eastern cuisine, everything is made in-house from scratch.”

Upon arrival, it’s immediately noticeable that everything is immaculate. Perhaps that’s not surprising as it’s brand new, but the chrome is gleaming, the glass is shining, and the Wolverine painting on the wall is a delight.

We were shown into the kitchen, where the chefs had the huge chunks of Shawarmas (beef and chicken) and gyro slowly roasting, creating an amazing aroma. Again, the brand new kitchen was spotless.

However, we wanted to try a couple of healthier options and were told that their Vegan Wrap is very popular. For good reason too; the grilled tortilla is packed tight with falafel, cauliflower, eggplant, french fries, pickled turnips, tomatoes and hummus. 

Somehow each flavor strands out and, despite the fact that french fries aren’t exactly healthy, the bulk of the wrap can be eaten guilt-free (there are honestly only a couple of fries in there, so you get the flavor without a ton of calories).

We opted to get the wrap with pita chips and hummus. The chips were crispy and delicious – a wonderful snap greets every bite. Meanwhile the hummus is smooth and flavorful – the tahini and chickpeas blended beautifully.

We also tried the salmon plate, served on a bed of yellow rice with grilled veggies and a green salad, and pita bread. The salmon was juicy and perfectly seasoned, and the fluffy rice soaked up all of the excess flavorful juices. The veggies were delicious too – not at all soggy. It’s also worth noting that the tahini sauce and garlic sauce that comes on the side is glorious, and a great way to use any bread you have left.

We finished off with a couple of pieces of their gooey pistachio baklava. Soaked in honey, the flakey pastry is rammed stuffed with the green nuts and, while it’s very sweet and you don’t need a lot of it, it is a real treat.

The same can be said of everything here.

Anwar’s Kitchen is located at Westfield Mall, 6000 Sepulveda Blvd. #2507, Culver City. Call 424-228-4903 or visit anwarskitchen.com.

(Brett Callwood)